Whether you are a panicking first year teacher or a veteran teacher trying to prevent teacher burn out, find the most effective classroom management strategies, inspirational student activities, and culturally relevant curriculum ideas here.
Classroom Management Tip
What is the most effective classroom management technique? Silence: NEVER talk over students. If one student or the entire class is looking out the window, whispering, not paying attention, laughing, or exhibiting any degree of off-task behavior, stop talking immediately. Do not yell warnings or consequences, simply stop mid-sentence. Wait silently without using any words for as long as it takes for 100% of students to be 100% silent and focused. Then wait several more moments before speaking. Do not immediately launch into a lecture or a consequence. This will likely start the outburst again. Instead say, “Thank you for getting silent and tracking me.” Then carry on with the lesson. Standing calm and silent is a greater display of authority than shouting and threats and it avoids an out of control escalation of consequences or power struggles.
After class, praise well-behaved students and consider sending a positive note, email or phone call home. For misbehaving students, call home or let students know they have a chance to improve behavior tomorrow before you will call home.
Every week, enjoy a fun way to teach one of the common core standards for English Language Arts! Teach CCSS.RL.1: Identify and characterize the characters in the Inside Out Video Clip. Describe how the author used indirect or direct characterization to share each character’s personality.
CCSS-Aligned Video Activity
Read and play Maya Angelou’s “STILL I RISE” poem, and ask students to, “Identify, interpret and analyze the poem’s figurative language and theme.”
Inspirational Bell Ringer: Have Students Paraphrase a Quote
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Reduce Teacher Stress and Anxiety
If you are desperate to cure your teaching anxiety or reduce the sunday scaries, enjoy a tip every week to reduce anxiety. First, put things in perspective. One day, this will be a distant blurry memory so in moments of work anxiety, simply remember that this does not matter as much as you think it does. Stay in the present moment by practicing noticing your surroundings without worrying about your future or past work stress. Notice the trees, clouds, bird song, etc. Then, make the most of your after school time, weekends and school breaks by daydreaming and planning free time “itineraries.” Make a habit of reading, drawing, hiking, visiting local parks and museums, or anything that helps you feel happy and present. Keep perspective and remember that your job is not your life. Cook dinner with a friend, get a daily fitness buddy, join a meet-up or sports team, anything to have something non-teaching related to look forward to after work.
Finally, to put your teaching stress in perspective, remember who your favorite teachers were. You probably don’t remember their lesson plans or classroom management style. You do remember how they made you feel. Be confident, assertive and honest about the support you need from your administrators. Then smile, stay enthusiastic, engage in one-on-one interactions, and use the “silence” classroom management strategy to calmly not talk over off-task students. If you’re in a rut, use the inspirational quote and video activities above to improve classroom culture today! Good luck and we are here for you every week to help you not just survive but thrive as a teacher.
If you are still overwhelmed with lesson-planning, find NO PREP English lesson plans, student handouts, writing units, novel studies, bell ringers, task cards and more at my TpT store.